Toronto
2 min

Grin and bare it

The morning of Pride Day, I attended my friend Rebecca’s annual brunch. Topics of conversation at the mostly lesbian affair ranged from sunstroke to gardening to how no one wanted to attend the parade that day since we were all a bunch of aging hipsters and we’d sooo seen it all before.

The preeminent talk topic, however, was the Dyke March the day before and all of the lascivious men who’d turned out the ogle and photograph the many bare-breasted babes.

“Those men have no right to take my picture when I’m topless,” whined one well-dressed femme.

“Actually, they do have the right. Legally, anyway,” I pointed out.

“But taking my picture so they can whack off to it later is just wrong,” she cried.

Like it or not, in this country if you’re in a public place you can be photographed and the person who snaps your mug can publish it in a newspaper or put it on their blog or stow it under their bed, without reprieve. As long as they aren’t selling it, you can’t do anything about it.

The issue here, however, is not about an individual’s right to privacy. If you’re marching topless down the middle of Yonge St, you can’t be that interested in privacy, can you? What upset these women so much was the fact that some yucky man might be thinking dirty thoughts and staining his sheets while staring at a snapshot of their mammaries.

All people — male, female, gay, straight and every combination in between — have sexual fantasies about people who they’d never actually have the chance to screw in real life. That’s why it’s called a fantasy.

I can promise you there’s a healthy dose of straight chicks that show up to Pride every year (and at gay bars throughout the year) to stare at all the hot boys and no doubt diddle their Skittles later while thinking about the bare flesh they took in. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at someone’s photos of the parade and not had at least one almost totally naked man in each frame, and I’ve never heard a homo complain about that.

I’m told that a few fags who attended the Dyke March in support of their queer sisters had planned to put the moves on men who were snapping pics of all the bare boobies, so they’d know what it feels like to be objectified. Sorry gents, but there’s a huge difference between coming on to someone face to face and being stared at from afar. Doing stuff like this to guys who snap unwanted pics doesn’t help them understand what it’s like to be photographed in public. It just reinforces the stereotype of gay men who want to fuck straight guys and aren’t willing to take no for an answer.

Back in 1996 you ladies fought for the right to bare your breasts in public, and won. You convinced the court system that women’s bodies are not obscene, that they don’t need be covered in some sort of Victorian-era puritanical attempt to protect men and children from seeing them. You told us all that your nipples have the same right as a man’s to feel the breeze on a hot summer day. So please, for the love of the Goddess, quit pissing and moaning because somebody actually wants to look at them.